Naked and Afraid (a marketer’s dilemma)

Have you seen or heard about “Naked and Afraid” – the reality show on Discovery Channel?


I’m not a big reality TV show fan, but this one is rather interesting and its premise is simple.

Two strangers, a man and woman, are plunked down in the middle of nowhere (e.g. deserted island, the jungle, African plains, etc.) with nothing other than one tool of their choice and forced to survive for the next 21 days on their survival skills, wit and ingenuity.

And to ensure they catch viewers’ eyes, both are completely naked (I admit – I was channel surfing one Sunday night and a wide-screen view of two bare butts trekking in the jungle got me to pause).

Before they’re let loose to fend for themselves, each participant is given a choice one a single survival tool to bring with them and to me this is quite interesting.  I’ve seen participants choose things like a fire-starter kit, cooking pot or knife (though after watching a few episodes I’m thinking the smartest thing would be a pair of hiking shoes).  I cringed each time the guy in Tanzania stepped on huge thorns, eventually infecting his foot.

Watching how the pair works together to find food, shelter and essentially survive for 21 is a study into human behavior and psychology.  Across the boards you might find it interesting which gender is the whinier of the two and the physical metamorphosis is dramatic (probably won’t be long for the Naked and Afraid Diet book to come out).   Here is a link to learn more about this show.


Being a marketing geek, this show made me think about my “tool of choice” if I was somehow forced to take only one tool with me, to an isolated locale, to run my business for 21 days.

What tool would I rely on to keep my marketing alive?  What tool would help me survive and create other tools and things from which I can survive?

An engaging (and different) thought for sure and one I thought would be fun to pose in this article for your feedback and comments.

So here’s my challenge to you.  You have to keep your business alive for 21 days while you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere.   Hopefully not naked (or afraid), but without the Internet, electricity or any of your everyday business comforts.

What is the one marketing or business tool you are going to take with you?  I’m looking forward to some thought provoking and interesting comments below!

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at


  1. Charles Gaudet on August 7, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Can I take my existing customer mailing list with me?

    That’s assuming I could mail them… I think they’d appreciate a nice little handwritten note from the bowels of the jungle 😉

    That’d be my vote!

  2. Alyson Lex on August 7, 2013 at 9:12 am

    This is so tough! My business operates primarily online, so without internet or electricity… it would be REALLY hard to keep it running without me there for 21 days!

    I guess the biggest survival tool wouldn’t be one that I take with me, but one that I leave behind: I’d need a team (however small) and automation. When you have those in place, you have someone who can take over for you in your absence and automation to keep your income rolling in even while you’re away.

    Which would also leave me with enough space for hiking boots in my backpack! 🙂

    • Mike Capuzzi on August 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      Alyson – well said!

  3. Bob Britton on August 7, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Good question Mike. I’m a fan of Naked and Afraid too, like you it caused me to stop and go ‘huh?’.

    If I had to have only one tool to keep my business(es) going and I can’t have electricity or the internet, then I’d have to say it’s going to be the old school credit card machine. You remember the ones where you had to put that carbon paper in the tray with the card underneath and swipe it across?

    There simply isn’t anything more important in business than having a consistent stream of cash coming in, and that means making sales everyday.

    Chop me off at the knees without all my fancy tools, but if I can sell and write the order, I’ll be alright – for a while anyway.


    – Bob Britton

    • Mike Capuzzi on August 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      Thanks Bob. I think I remember what those things are!

  4. Mark Fitzgerald on August 7, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I like Bill Britton’s response to this question but would have to amend it by saying that having a pen to write things down is more important than a credit card machine. How will you be “writing up” sale orders without a pen? Oh, and a good pair of walking shoes will have to come along on this trek because in order to sell a lot, I will have to be walking many miles and knocking on many doors to keep my business alive. In fact, I’ve already done this business model by working for The Southwestern Company as a book salesperson for two summers back in my college days. Great experience and it lasted longer than 21 days!

    • Mike Capuzzi on August 7, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      Mark – after my initial thought process and giving it more thought, I too think I would take a pen and tablet. Not sure what I could get done in 21 days other than copywriting and coming up with ideas when I return.

  5. Dr. Carney on August 7, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Well Mike,

    I don’t know what you’re eating now, but at least I know what you’re watching.

    When I first read your post, I thought the answer would be easy.

    Then I had to go back and read your post again.

    Then I dropped down and tried to get some direction from the other posts, but you know, I’m going to have to think about this one for a few days.

    First off, 21 days is a long time.

    Survival of the fittest takes on a whole new meaning when you stop the internet.

    I was going to say TAKE MY iPad initially, but I’m not sure of that one yet.

    If I can write, (and it has a long battery life), I’d probably be okay.

    But again, no internet, so I’m thinking I’d be writing a small book like you talked about at the last seminar. And based upon what you’ve taught me, I can’t think of anything that would keep me going except how I left the business.

    For sure I’d be writing like a madman before I left, have all the autoresponders set up, so my business runs at peak performance until I get back, so if I’m going to be running around with a naked woman, I think hiking boots might be the best choice for me.

    I mean if I’m going to go for comfort, boots would be the answer, because I’m no good to anyone if I don’t make it back, but then again a knife comes in a close second.

    Yeah I might lose some weight (which could be a good thing) but when I eat I like to kill it first, (if necessary) then filet it.

    Then I’m talking about fire, so again, I’m going to watch Preppers before intensely before I ever say, “Okay Mike, I’m ready.”

    Great question, but you know I have to be honest.

    If you have the right answer, I’ll just sit here and wait for it because I’m more or less stumped. Surviving is one thing, but trying to survive and deal with my business at the same time is a intriguing task that does take a lot of consideration.

    Okay I might take my iPhone (or a satellite phone that I can turn on and off and only use when necessary since there is no electricity, and the internet). Not sure if I will have reception but if I have a satellite telephone, I can run my business from anywhere, and dictate emails, write copy etc.

    As you can tell I’m searching and I’m not doing well, but you know at least I put some effort into this. Okay I’ll just take some hiking boots and register for the newsletter seminar before I leave. That way I’ll make up for being gone by attending the seminar AFTER I’m back from the 21 days, cooked and lean.


    • Mike Capuzzi on August 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Doc – you are too funny. Love the back and forth thought process on this.

  6. Rich Hauswirth on August 7, 2013 at 10:14 am

    My tool of choice, given your parameters? A pencil and a pad of paper. Marketing is for me about writing my thoughts down which could be a source of ideas and income.

    Of course if the naked lady was good looking I could also write an invite to her for dinner.

    We have all been “without” at one time or another. Going back to basics can refresh the soul.

    Rich Hauswirth

    • Mike Capuzzi on August 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      Rich – other than taking one of your bottles of delicious homemade wine, I too would opt for pen and paper. I could get a lot of copywriting done and probably come up with more marketing ideas than I would need for the rest of the year.

  7. Phil Brakefield on August 7, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Luckily I have my business set up so it could run without me indefinitely, so I think I would take my iPad, loaded with every iconic marketing book…including the Capuzzi titles…I’ve ever read so I could spend 21 days revisiting them and shining up stuff I had forgotten about or am not using as much as I should.

    Of course, because I am allowed only ONE tool, I would have to make sure the iPad is attached to a big ass battery pack!

    Phil B

  8. Jon Bockman on August 7, 2013 at 10:33 am

    First, you wouldn’t want me naked on any t.v show (think Robert Hatch on Survivor).

    Second, the one tool I’d keep is my client database. Let’s face it there’s money in the list. These are people who like you, worked with you and will most likely work with you again.

    I’d keep this tool close and wouldn’t let it out of my sight.

  9. Christina on August 7, 2013 at 10:47 am

    My one thing that I would take would be an aeroplane ticket for a private jet, to get me the heck out of there! 🙂

    • Mike Capuzzi on August 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Christina – that’s cheating 🙂 That’s like getting three wishes from a genie and the third wish is for 10 more wishes. But I get where you’re coming from!

  10. Mickie Kennedy on August 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    For me, the basics of marketing comes down to communication. Email is my tool of choice. Communication through email (whether autoresponders, newsletters, or special offers) probably accounts for one-third of my annual revenue. Now I’m not certain “email” qualifies as one tool because it is reliant on a computer, electricity, and connectivity, but that’s my choice. 🙂

    • Mike Capuzzi on August 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Mickie – yea, I think email would be tough one in the middle of nowhere, without electricity. Looking forward to seeing you in October.

  11. Edwin Soler on August 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Honestly, I would bring two books with me: my Bible and the book Think and Grow Rich. The latter has SO MANY parallels to the former. I would then come back and implement everything in it. But since I am only allowed one tool, I would buy the Think and Grow Rich study Bible so I can only have one tool. By the way… of course there is no such thing as the Think and Grow Rich study Bible but at least I can wish it, right? Good thought provoker Mike…

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